What is ke­totic hy­po­gly­caemia?

Friday - - Health -

Ke­totic hy­po­gly­caemia is a rare but se­ri­ous form of low blood sugar (hy­po­gly­caemia) that oc­curs in young chil­dren after a pe­riod of fast­ing, usu­ally after ill­ness. It is of­ten called “ac­cel­er­ated star­va­tion” and usu­ally oc­curs in chil­dren be­tween 18 months and five years, and gen­er­ally goes away spon­ta­neously be­fore eight or nine years.

With ke­totic hy­po­gly­caemia, the body doesn’t have enough stored car­bo­hy­drates to cor­rect the low blood sugar. Most chil­dren can tol­er­ate go­ing with­out food for a brief pe­riod with no se­ri­ous side ef­fects. But in this case skip­ping a meal may re­sult in very low blood sugar lev­els.

The body con­verts fats into us­able car­bo­hy­drates (glu­co­neo­ge­n­e­sis) to meet en­ergy needs. A by-prod­uct of this process is ke­tones. When ke­tones build up in the blood, they can lead to se­ri­ous prob­lems, such as coma.

Treat­ment of ke­totic hy­po­gly­caemia may in­clude in­tra­venous (IV) salt­wa­ter (saline) and sugar (dex­trose) so­lu­tions.

Signs and symp­toms of ke­totic hy­po­gly­caemia:

■Ir­ri­tabil­ity

■Sweat­ing

■Fa­tigue and lethargy

■Rapid breath­ing

■Low blood pres­sure, re­sult­ing in dizzi­ness

■Loss of con­scious­ness

■Coma

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